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  Article updated: May 13, 2021

How Hootsuite works with social networks

Have you ever wondered why certain social media tasks are slightly different in Hootsuite than they are in Instagram, or what happens behind the scenes between Hootsuite and Facebook? This article introduces some important social media terms and explains how Hootsuite and your social media accounts work together.

What are social networks?

A social network is a website that brings people, groups, organizations, and businesses together online to share information, ideas, and stories—and, increasingly, to advertise and shop. These types of virtual communities are known collectively as social media. Popular social networks within social media include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

What is Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is what is known as a social media management tool—a service that connects multiple social media accounts to a centralized online management location. You might think of a social media management tool as a single portal into all of your social media accounts.

Connecting your social accounts to Hootsuite allows you to manage them all in one place, rather than on each individual social network. This management system makes it easier and faster for you to share and schedule content to your social networks, respond to and engage with audiences and customers, and work with teams to manage multiple social accounts.

What is Hootsuite not?

Hootsuite is not a social network, nor can it control any of your personal settings in individual social networks (Hootsuite also doesn’t perform automatic publishing tasks unless you set it up to do so). From the perspective of social networks, Hootsuite is considered a third party. In other words, Hootsuite is an independent software service that is compatible with and complementary to the goals of social networks and their users.

How does Hootsuite work with social networks?

Because of the benefits it provides to social media users, Hootsuite has strong partnerships with many social networks. All of the major social networks have programmatic integrations (known as application programming interfaces, or APIs) that allow third parties like Hootsuite to access and share certain types of information.

Hootsuite, like every third party, is limited in what it can do by these API integrations, which vary by social network. Each social network connects to and works with Hootsuite in a different way, so the method for adding different social accounts to Hootsuite varies. You might also notice that certain types of streams are only available with certain social networks, the process for scheduling posts varies among different social networks, and certain social accounts disconnect more frequently than others. Differences in functionality arise for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Limitations set by individual social networks
  • The connection methods between Hootsuite and different social networks
  • Features and capabilities of social networks that haven’t been made available to third parties such as Hootsuite

Both Hootsuite and our social media partners are always working toward providing Hootsuite users with all the same capabilities that they have in the social networks.